The Hare dress is progressing.

For a long time I had lost my mojo.
I just couldn’t think what to do with this dress….. well I knew what I wanted to achieve but just couldn’t quite sort it in my head.
And then IT CLICKED

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Detail of one sleeve (the other is plain)
Gold leaf, gold work and spiral couching. 
Colours match the lining. 

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These gold work hares!  A labour of love.
Finally found a home.
Placed to contrast with the matt texture of hand dyed scrims.

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Playing around with placement…. and hand dyed silk velvets to contrast with the scrim.
Add in some textured wool spirals….
And slowly work your way from one side to the other. 

Glendale Show

The largest countryside show in the north of the county.

For the first time in years I submitted work, disappointed to find there was no embroidery section, no painting section…..
I got a second and two thirds. I never will do well, I’m not popular enough and my work isn’t traditional enough.
In the felted category I came second to this cushion.

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Third in the “any other other craft”, which was the only category to put the cushion.

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And third with the bag

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My Mad Friend of Brightseed Textiles won best stand at the show.
You can find her website here. 

Dyeing days

Had a few days of dyeing recently.
Here’s snapshot of one session. 

Some larger cotton dresses (more on this later) and small colourful pieces which I intend to use with felted backgrounds and possibly a hare or two….. or three of four.

Fabrics at the top are soaking in soda ash, the procion dyes are ready to be measured out.

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As a scientist I love the mix of accuracy, witchcraft and fate.
(Ex- scientist I guess, as its been over 20 years since I was in a research lab.  I still miss it very much) 

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Mabon – the Autumn Equinox

The light is equal and turns towards the dark from now until Midwinter.

Now its Autumn, a season I love for its bright cool days and stunning colours.

Roll the days for warm soft jumpers and long boots.
(I shall miss the warmth of the sun on my skin though).

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The gate at the end of my walk.
I try to make this walk at least once a week. 

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Yum!

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Holiday with friends

After the NEC I drove around Birmingham towards the Kidderminster / Stourbridge sort of way to stay with my oldest and best friends.
I stayed for three nights and totally chilled out.

This is a house where there are elephants everywhere, we have matching light fittings, table mats and coasters, trinkets, almost the same Denby, same dresser…… the list goes on…. and the coffee is always available.
Oh and they got some GF chocolate biscuits in for me to have with said coffee.
Perfect.  Thank you xxx 

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Felix – sleepy time.

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Ozzy watching the ball, there is Deli too but she’s very shy.
We spent hours sitting on those chairs in the background chatting away.
We chat…. a lot. 

One evening we headed to Bewdley.
A favourite haunt of mine.

Not least for…..

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The best sweetie shop in the world.

Here’s a link to their website.

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A good haul.
Not ALL for me.

If you have a few minutes take a look at this video of the factory.
Its all so old fashioned.
Thats why the sweeties are so wonderful.
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Lovely to walk along the riverside path and watch the rowing boats, ducks and geese. 
We just don’t get this in Northumberland and I do miss it. 
I love Bewdley, something very special about it.

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Chips sitting by the river watching the world go by.

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And a few drinks too.

So the Thursday I headed home via the East Midlands Outlet shopping centre for the Adidas and Nike stores.
Who knew I’d ever be shopping for sports gear?  Not just for Richard but for me too.

I’d really enjoyed the time away, especially chatting with friends, old and new.
Getting he buzz of London, seeing wonderful paintings and dresses. 

I’d enjoyed strolling by the river and sitting out on a warm evening watching the busy world go by.
But as I drove past the Rothbury turning and headed up over the moors away from “commuter to Newcastle land” I felt the space, peace and quiet of north Northumberland and I felt glad to be home.

 

London Part 6

Buckingham Palace 

I’ve never visited before so it was wonderful to not only see the State Rooms but also the Queens Dresses.
The dresses are on exhibition at the three palaces (I hope to get to Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh soon).

No photographs inside of course.
Here’s a link instead. 

I met up with friends and we headed inside.

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I was excited to be going to see the Coronation dress and Wedding dress, unfortunately because of the way they were displayed it was impossible to get close up to see much of the embroidery.

It was also VERY busy, despite the timed ticket.

But it was worth it, the rooms are gilt upon gilt upon gilt.
Just as a royal palace should be.

The dresses were well displayed (apart from the two mentioned imho) and you realise how small the Queen is.
(Though probably still taller than me.  Almost everyone is.)

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Afterwards we went shopping for souvenirs and the gold (of course) carrier bag.
Then ice creams to cool down. 

I came home with a tea towel (how old am I?)
An Andy Warhol version of course

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 Also purchased a jute shopping bag, adorned with lions, crowns and such – which proved useful for dirty laundry.
Is this a treasonable offence? 

London Part 5

 Turner at the Tate

I took a short video, to show how empty it was….  I wonder if the link will work?
I will admit to being a YouTube virgin. 

Video here 

 The Turner collection is utterly amazing and there is so much on the walls and so many rooms its almost overwhelming.
I got totally lost and went round and around in circles.

One thing I took away from the visit;

JUST PAINT and keep painting and make more paintings…. and more and more. 

A few of my favourites below.

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The above are details from;

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Norham Castle, not far from here.
Full of history and border warfare.

 

London Part 4

Victorians at the Tate.

You really can’t go wrong with a dose of Burne-Jones, Waterhouse and Millais.
Here are just few of my favourites. 

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We’ve all felt like this, several times a day if it’s been a full day in the studio.

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An outstanding collection